Welcome to the Southwest Baptist Bearcat’s Men’s soccer program who begin their first season of play on September 1st. The squad held their first exhibition match of the season over the weekend, falling 3-6 to the Maryville Saints, a D2 squad that plays in the GLVC. They continue preparations for the season with a scrimmage at Missouri State this evening, playing the Bears at 7:00 pm at Plaster Stadium.
UPDATE – The Bears won 2-0, with a 13-1 shots on goal advantage
The team has a large local component, including Bradley Stillwagon, pictured at right above. Stillwagon is a junior and was a captain on the Bolivar Liberator squad that finished 2nd at State his senior year. I see Kaleb Romero (Nixa), Nathan Fraley (Rolla), Colton Harden (Marshfield) and Karl Dupont (Waynesville) on the roster as well. The school has also hired Ben Hamilton (Glendale) as an assistant Coach.
The Bearcat’s are part of the MIAA Men’s soccer conference, announced last November. Fort Hays State University, Lindenwood University, Northeastern State University, Southwest Baptist University and Truman State University will all field men’s soccer teams in 2012. Additionally the MIAA announced that is has extended invitations to Harding University, Southern Nazarene University and Upper Iowa University to begin the process to become Associate Members of the MIAA for the purpose of playing men’s soccer in the MIAA.
Fort Hays State is ranked 1st in the preseason polls, having received four first place votes in the first MIAA men’s soccer poll since the 1998 season. The Tigers, who started their soccer program only last season earn the top spot which was last held by Missouri S&T in the 1998 campaign. This marks the third stint for men’s soccer in the MIAA, with the sport first appearing from 1981-1988, again from 1994-1998 and making another appearance as a league sponsored sport this year.
As noted earlier, the Bearcats will open up their season in Springfield, Missouri in a neutral site match-up with Southern Nazarene University on September 1. The Bearcats home opener is set for September 14 when they host MIAA opponent Lindenwood. The complete schedule can be found here